Godolphin Australia boss Vin Cox believes the devastating coronavirus pandemic could actually represent an “enormous opportunity” for Aussie racing.
While the European team of the Blue Army is having to deal with the total shutdown of British and French racing, the Aussie arm of Godolphin is pushing on under stricter racing and stable protocols.
As long as racing Down Under is able to continue with no fans, Cox believes the industry could actually end up being one of the rare winners out of a situation which could send many industries and businesses to the wall.
“I think it could actually be an enormous opportunity for our industry,” Cox told Racenet.
“If we can keep this going and keep the racing on television and in front of people then I think we can get amazing cut-through to the general population.
“It could tell a great story.
“I hope we are able to keep racing.”
Cox said the shutdown of racing in Britain and its impacts on Godolphin in the UK and elsewhere in Europe would currently have little or no impact on the operation of the Blue Army in Australia.
“We are separate entities and operate under our own governance - while the lights are on in Australia, we (Godolphin) will be there,” Cox said.
Cox said Godolphin had put in place enhanced biosecurity measures at its Australian stables including temperature checks for all people entering.
He said everyone in racing had an obligation to follow best practices to try to keep the code rolling on during tough times.
“We are probably no different to any other big stable, we have got a much heightened protocol,” Cox said.
“We are checking the temperatures of people coming into the place every day - we are making sure all our staff have their eyes open and their ears open for their colleagues and watching people that come within our vicinity.
“Like all of us we want to make sure that the racing keeps going and we have all got an obligation to do our bit.
“I think the thing is we have to try to keep as calm as we can.
“Everyone has an obligation to reduce risk of exposure to the virus.
“The government is being very proactive in trying to control the virus and all we can do is follow their guidelines.”
Cox has a long and successful history in the yearling sales business, having run Magic Millions for eight years before taking the managing director role at Godolphin.
So does he think horse sales – including the upcoming Inglis Easter Sale in Sydney – should go ahead?
“Everyone relies on cash flow so as much as humanely possible we should encourage activity in the sales environment,” Cox said.
“Whether that is conducted online is probably going to be dictated by the government.
“My experience is that if there is hysteria about, that sales can actually turn out to be quite resilient.”
Godolphin Australia boss Vin Cox with Glen Boss after Bivouac won the Newmarket Handicap.